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$ / one sheet / style A / USA

15.09.17

Poster Poster
Title
$
AKA
Dollars (Alt. USA title) | The Heist (UK)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/355
Tagline
This is a moving picture!

A simple design features on this one sheet for the US release of the 1971 crime-caper $ (AKA Dollars AKA The Heist). The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). It stars Warren Beatty who was arguably at the height of his career following his appearance in Bonnie and Clyde a few years earlier. He had just finished work on Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller which was released the same year as $. The film also marked the third screen appearance of Goldie Hawn and features Goldfinger himself Gert Fröbe. $ is notable for being filmed on location, including in Hamburg, Germany (where it is largely set) as well as in Sweden and San Diego, California.

The film’s plot is described on IMDb:

[$ is a] caper film about crooks robbing crooks, set in Germany where American bank security expert Joe Collins (Beatty) plots with call-girl Dawn Divine (Hawn) to rob three safety deposit boxes from three criminals; a local drug dealer known as the Candy Man, a Las Vegas mobster, and a crooked U.S. Army sergeant. The heist goes off with few complications. But when Candy Man and the Sarge find their money gone and figure out that Dawn (whom they all have gotten to know) is behind it, they team up to try to get their money back.

Despite receiving solid critical notices $ failed to set the box-office alight and was considered something of a flop on release.

This is one of several one sheets printed for the release of the film and some of the others can be seen by checking out this page on emovieposter.com. I’m unsure who was responsible for the design of this particular poster (known as ‘style A’) so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Hindenburg / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Legend / quad / UK

10.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
Legend
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"I am Darkness"

John Alvin artwork features on this British quad for the release of director Ridley Scott‘s 1985 fantasy oddity, Legend. It’s a film that is often scrubbed from both Scott and star Tom Cruise’s filmography whenever their previous films are discussed. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that it had a troubled production as well as a fairly brutal critical mauling. Cruise’s performance is a shadow of what the actor brought to Tony Scott’s seminal Top Gun only a year later. part of the blame for this has to be down to the way the film was extensively edited by both Scott and the studio prior to release. Scott’s first version ran 125 minutes and this was then cut down to 113 minutes following some test screenings. The final UK (European?) release was 95 minutes and US audiences had another 6 minutes removed for their version.

There are things to admire about the film, including the production and set design which created some memorable environments in which the action takes place. Tim Curry is near unrecognisable as the evil Darkness (as featured on this poster) and the make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin and his team, are incredible. Mia Sara also impresses as Lili and it’s hard to believe she was just 16 at the time of filming. Whilst it failed to recoup its budget on initial release, the film has definitely gained something of a cult following in the years since, particularly with those coming of age around the time of its release on home video. 

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and this image he created for Legend was used around the globe to promote the film, including in multiple European countries and on the international one sheet. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 6oth birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

To see the posters I’ve collected by Alvin click here.

Damien: Omen II / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Damien: Omen II
AKA
La maledizione di Damien [The curse of Damien] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Don Taylor
Starring
William Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Robert Foxworth, Nicholas Pryor, Lew Ayres, Sylvia Sidney, Lance Henriksen
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Robert Foxworth, Nicholas Pryor, Lew Ayres, Sylvia Sidney, Lance Henriksen,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Blades / one sheet / USA

05.01.18

Poster Poster
Title
Blades
AKA
--
Year of Film
1989
Director
Thomas R. Rondinella
Starring
Robert North, Jeremy Whelan, Victoria Scott, Holly Stevenson, William Towner, Peter Wray, Charlie Quinn, Bruce Katlin, Lee Devin, Bill Kimble, Donald Jackson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert North, Jeremy Whelan, Victoria Scott, Holly Stevenson, William Towner, Peter Wray, Charlie Quinn, Bruce Katlin, Lee Devin, Bill Kimble, Donald Jackson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Golf - A Game of Hooks, Slices and ... Slaughter | Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Putt

The notorious schlockmeisters Troma, headed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, were behind what must surely be one of the only golfing-related horror films ever made (unless you count the clubs wielded by the killers in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games), 1989’s Blades. The film was directed by Thomas R. Rondinella and is his only cinema-released feature to date and, as is typical with most Troma productions, the cast is mostly made up of jobbing b-movie actors. As the second tagline alludes to, the film is apparently a pastiche of Jaws with the shark replaced with a killer lawnmower wielded by a mysterious killer (and often show from the blades’ point of view).

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

People are showing up sliced and diced at Tall Grass Country Club. Norman, the owner of the club, wants to avoid undue publicity on the eve of the televised pro-am tournament, and encourages new pro Roy to get to the bottom of the killings quietly. Roy has a history of alcohol problems since he choked while playing a big tournament years before, and Kelly, who feels she should have been hired as the new pro, isn’t making the situation easier for him, insisting they cancel the tournament until the killer can be stopped. After a seedy character named Deke Slater is arrested, the owner relaxes, but Roy and Kelly begin to feel that Deke’s rantings about a runaway lawnmower aren’t so far-fetched after all, and after Deke is released the three of them prepare for a battle to the death out on the uncharted fairways.

The film was apparently only released in a small handful of US cinemas before heading to video and HBO soon afterwards. I may be wrong but I don’t believe it ever saw release over here in the UK.

Apocalypse Now / Thailand

23.09.15

Poster Poster

This is the very scarce original 2-sheet poster for the Thai release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.  Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

The film had several interesting posters printed for its release, including the great Bob Peak artwork used around the world, but this Thai 2-sheet is up there, in my mind, as one of the best posters ever painted full stop. The amount of detail, use of colour and expertly arranged montage all add up to a visual feast of a design and I find some new detail every time I look at it. I’ve added 70 photos for you to really get a sense of the poster.

This poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch.

The two sides of the poster were printed separately and then joined together once they were displayed at cinemas. I tried my best to join them together with Photoshop but it’s not that easy to get them to match. Photos 2 and 3 show the two halves separately. It’s interesting to note that Tongdee actually painted the original art on two canvases as can be seen on this photograph showing him and the British collector Neil Pettigrew that was published in issue 168 of Dark Side magazine. This means that getting a totally seamless join between the two halves is impossible.

Note that there was a reprint made of this poster several years ago where someone in Thailand scanned the poster when the two halves were joined together and then printed it as a single sheet poster at the standard Thai film poster size of around 21″ x 31″. These have sometimes been sold as ‘commercial posters’ but are nothing more than unauthorised fakes and should be avoided at all costs. Permission was not sought from the distributor or the artist to make these copies and their sale should not be supported.

Orca / B2 / style C / Japan

12.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
'Dino'
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style C and there’s also the style A and style B. There’s a signature that looks like ‘Dino’ at the bottom of the art (see picture 5) but if anyone knows which artist this belongs to please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf / 30×40 / USA

26.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Nathan Juran
Starring
Kerwin Mathews, Elaine Devry, Scott Sealey, Robert J. Wilke, Susan Foster, Jack Lucas, Bob Homel, George Gaynes
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kerwin Mathews, Elaine Devry, Scott Sealey, Robert J. Wilke, Susan Foster, Jack Lucas, Bob Homel, George Gaynes,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/229
Tagline
Possible in this day and age? Those who didn't believe... are dead!

A little-seen horror from 1973, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf was the last film that director Nathan H. Juran (Attack of the 50 Foot WomanThe 7th Voyage of Sinbad) worked on and it paired him for the final time with leading actor Kerwin Mathews who was a regular collaborator (he played Sinbad, for example). The plot sees Mathews play Robert, a divorced father who takes his estranged son Richie (Scott Sealey) to the family’s holiday mountain cabin for a short break. Whilst walking in the woods at night the pair are attacked by a werewolf and during the struggle Rob is bitten before the beast falls down a ravine and is impaled on a fence.

When they discover the body it has changed back to a man whom the local police don’t recognise. Richie’s insistence that it was a werewolf is laughed off by his father and the police and later his mother speaks to a psychologist who suggests the boy is struggling to accept that he witnessed his father killing someone and is making up a fantastic story to cope with the situation. The psychologist then recommends Robert and Richie return to the cabin to help with the healing process, but they happen to visit during the next full-moon cycle and that bite comes back to haunt Robert and Richie. Will anyone believe the boy before it’s too late?

It seems like the film was given a limited release and this is the 30×40 poster which will have been used for the film’s showing in venues like drive-ins and larger cinemas. It was also given a UK release as a double-bill with the creature feature ‘Sssss‘, that was out the same year. The film has never been officially released on DVD and is hard to track down, should you wish to watch it.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

 

 

Orca / B2 / style B / Japan

13.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style B and there’s also the style A. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Legend / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Legend
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
International
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"No Good without Evil. No Love without Hate. No Innocence without Lust. I am Darkness."

Apocalypse Now Redux / B1 / Japan

04.09.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the 2001 re-release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. This release, known as ‘Redux’ was a new version prepared by the director and his editor and long-time collaborator Walter Murch that saw almost 50 minutes inserted back into the film with several sequences extended and the flow of the film altered as a result. Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

The Redux version, which involved re-recording several of the original actors’ dialogue 30 years since the original filming, plus the addition of newly recorded music, was met with generally positive reviews. Many critics felt that the revisions made the film an even richer, stranger experience, whilst some felt that the new cut was self-indulgent and that the new sequences, particularly one set in a French plantation, slowed the film down too much. Check out this wikipedia article for details of the changes. I personally prefer the original cut but the new additions are undoubtedly interesting to watch.

The Japanese title on this poster is made from a photographic image of burning wood and the explosion and helicopters are taken from the now iconic ‘Charlie don’t surf’ sequence.

 

Apocalypse Now / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Video Dead / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Video Dead
AKA
Zombie - Bloody Demons (West Germany)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Robert Scott
Starring
Michael St. Michaels, Thaddeus A. Golas, Al Millan, Roxanna Augesen, Lory-Michael Ringuette, Rocky Duvall
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael St. Michaels, Thaddeus A. Golas, Al Millan, Roxanna Augesen, Lory-Michael Ringuette, Rocky Duvall,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Joann Daley
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Look what's buried inside your television.

Orca / B2 / style A / Japan

30.12.13

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 the ‘style A (black surround)’ and I also have the other two styles which will be added to the site eventually. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Apocalypse Now / one sheet / USA

12.08.13

Poster Poster

A classic painting by the late, great Bob Peak on this one sheet for the release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

Master movie poster artist Bob Peak was asked to create a series of paintings to sell the film and he worked in conjunction with art directors Murray Smith and Don Smolen from the boutique poster agency Smolen, Smith and Connolly, based in New York City. Two of Peak’s paintings were used in North America, with an image of the Nung River on the teaser poster and then this superb portrait of Brando as Kurtz with a menacing looking Sheen behind him was the final poster. Both of those images were used around the world to sell the film. German cinemas also saw this stunning image of Kurtz that was painted by Peak and used exclusively in that country.

Bob Peak was born in 1927 in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Wichita, Kansas before heading off to serve in the military during the Korean War. Upon his return Peak enrolled in the Los Angeles-based Art Center College of Design where he began to hone his craft as an artist, moving to New York after graduation where he began his career as a commercial illustrator, first working on a campaign for Old Hickory Whiskey. For the next few years the artist worked on a string of successful advertising campaigns, magazine editorials and more, but it was when United Artists hired Peak to work on their campaign for the release of West Side Story in 1961 that he began what would prove to be a fruitful and almost unrivalled career in film poster creation.

Peak’s immediately recognisable style was soon much in demand and his painting appeared on posters for films such as My Fair Lady (1964) and Camelot (1967), but it was his work in the area of sci-fi and fantasy for which Peak is perhaps best known, with the iconic design for the first Superman film (1978), the classic image he created for Rollerball (1975) and the colourful poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), amongst several classics of the genre he was responsible for. His paintings for Apocalypse Now, however, arguably saw the artist working at the top of his game and in the recently published must-own book The Art of Bob Peak (put together by one of his sons), he is quoted as saying, “Of all my movie work, it is my work on Apocalypse Now that I am most proud of.”

To see the other posters in the Film on Paper collection that were painted by Bob Peak click here.

Vanishing Point / B2 / Japan

30.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Vanishing Point
AKA
--
Year of Film
1971
Director
Richard C. Sarafian
Starring
Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Paul Koslo, Robert Donner, Timothy Scott, Charlotte Rampling, Gilda Texter
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Paul Koslo, Robert Donner, Timothy Scott, Charlotte Rampling, Gilda Texter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The car’s the star on this Japanese poster for the classic 1971 road movie, Vanishing Point, starring the then unknown actor Barry Newman as the legendary delivery driver Kowalski. Tasked with driving a 1970 Dodge Challenger (R/T 440 Magnum) from Colorado to San Francisco, Kowalski accepts a bet that he can’t get the car to its destination in less than 15 hours.

After a run in with two motorcycle cops a pursuit commences and the driver does his best to stay on target and evade arrest, helped along the way by an enigmatic DJ named Super Soul (Cleavon Little). During the pursuit Kowalski meets an array of characters, including a snake-catching prospector (Dean Jagger), gun-toting gay hitchhikers and a hippie biker with a girlfriend who rides stark-naked (as featured on this poster).

There are actually two versions of the film and the one that was shown in the cinema in the UK is actually longer than the US cut, featuring an extra scene of a drug-taking hitchhiker played by British actor Charlotte Rampling. Both versions are available on the recently released blu-ray.

The film has had an undeniable cultural impact, influencing multiple other films and even musicians, with Brit group Primal Scream naming their 1997 album after the film and lead singer  Bobby Gillespie saying that, “The music in the film is hippy music, so we thought, ‘Why not record some music that really reflects the mood of the film?’ It’s always been a favourite of the band, we love the air of paranoia and speed-freak righteousness … It’s a pure underground film, rammed with claustrophobia”

Quentin Tarantino‘s half of Grindhouse, Death Proof, continually references the film and features an almost identical Dodge Charger in one of its key car chases. I hadn’t realised but there was actually a TV remake of the film made in 1997 and starring Viggo Mortensen as Kowalski.

The original trailer is on YouTube.